DeafWire Edition – 17 September 2022

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps

Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen



One in ten words wrong in auto-captions

Researchers at two universities in the United States said that an average of one in ten mistakes in auto-captions are found in many leading video conferencing and social media apps. The number increases if the speaker’s first language is not English due to their accent. Hearing people wouldn’t accept unintelligible audio. Deaf people who rely on captions need equal access.

One of the researchers, Dr. Christian Volger, built an auto-captioning system called GoVoBo. The GoVoBo website states it delivers accessible, equitable communications for all. They collaborated with a non-profit project to get volunteers to speak in second languages, teaching the technology how to understand other accents.


Deaf owned restaurant opens & Inaccessible education for Deaf girl

Lillouie Barrios, a Deaf man, and his hearing husband, Victor Covarrubias, opened a restaurant named “Pah!” at the end of June in the United States. Pah is an ASL slang term meaning “finally” or “successful.” The restaurant serves pub grub with a twist. Lillouie said, “I want to share our culture with people who listen, but it’s also something that other people can recognize.”

In Canada, inaccessible education is the reality for Deaf students like Allison Chandler, who rely heavily on the support of educational interpreters. Allison’s mother, Heather, said that if arrangements aren’t made before school starts, Allison will stay home. In grades 2, 3, and 4, Allison had an educational interpreter but not a Deaf professional, restricting her from gaining full access to the classroom. The educational interpreter only filled in the blanks for Allison as she learned the language.


Deaf refugees face obstacles

After escaping from war, a family with a six-year-old Deaf girl is struggling to live a normal life. They’re stuck in a refugee complex in Italy because of visa issues with the United Kingdom government. A woman offered to sponsor the family after they contacted her through social media.

Oksana, the mother of the six-year-old Deaf girl Elizabeth, wants to move her daughter to safety so she can get quick access to medical health. Elizabeth was about to get a second cochlear implant but had to leave before that happened because of the war. Oskana expressed frustration, saying the family might move to Switzerland if they don’t get a response from the UK government soon.


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Sign language taught in marae

New Zealand Sign Language, NZSL, is one of the two languages officially recognised in New Zealand. In April 2006, NZSL joined the language of the country’s indigenous population – Māori. A Deaf resident, Eddie Hokianga is developing sign language teaching programs in 20 different marae locations with the Deaf Action New Zealand organisation. A marae is a communal and sacred meeting ground.

Kim Robinson, the Chairperson of Deaf Action New Zealand, stated that she thinks by placing sign language classes in maraes, they’re feeding the language back to the community. There are approximately 4,600 Deaf New Zealanders and 20,000 people use NZSL as a form of communication.


Deaf owner of hotel dies & Deaf sports club host children’s camp

Roberto Enrico Wirth, a Deaf man who owned several hotels, died this summer. He was 72 years old. He is the founder and president of the Centre for Help for Assistance Centre for Deaf and Deafblind Children. Since 1992, Roberto has collaborated with the American-Italian organisation to provide annual awards to Deaf educators of the Deaf-blind.

In Lithuania, Kaunas Deaf Sports Club “Tyla” organised a sports camp in August for children between the ages of 3-8. Parents accompanied their children and participated in lectures about psychology. The campers performed various fun tasks and were congratulated with medals and presented with gifts.


Reviewing the Disability Act

Deaf Women Association of Nigeria, DWAN, is demanding more recognition for their community from the Federal Government. DWAN requested for the Disability Act to be reviewed and access through sign language interpreters be provided in public places. DWAN said that Deaf women need support for health care facilities, schools, businesses owners, and to create an inclusive community for Deaf women.

Hellen Anurika Beyioku-Alase, from DWAN, stated that Deaf women in general face violence and subjugation from men, discrimination in employment, and zero/poor access to health care and education. The Disability Act review would force every office of government to implement what is in that law, which would ensure that Deaf women are rightly represented.

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